2017 Open Championship: Birdies flew while you slept

The Open Championship tees off when most of America is either asleep or heading for bed. Here’s what happened before the Saturday morning sun rose on the States:

Birdies Aplenty
For all the horrors that the weather visited upon the field on Friday, the weekend at the Open Championship has dawned as gently as possible. Blue skies, still winds, and soft greens combined for red scores all over the course early on Saturday morning. Shaun Norris went out alone at 4:20 a.m. Eastern, the last man to make the cut, and by the time he finished, he had very nearly played his way into the top 10 with a five-under 65. And he wouldn’t be alone. More than two hours before leader Jordan Spieth would tee off, 31 of the 57 players on the course were under par. (For comparison’s sake, only eight players broke par at all on Friday.)

Records In Play
The record for a low score at a major is 63, set most recently by Henrik Stenson just last year. Phil Mickelson came within a curled lip-out putt of breaking that record, also last year. But with players storming the leaderboard in huge numbers, that record could fall on Saturday. Branden Grace made the turn at 29, needing only to go three-under on the back nine to set that record. [UPDATE: He did it.]

But Did He Call Glass?
Check out the video above, as Dustin Johnson ran a bank shot off the grandstand of the 310-yard par-4 5th. Johnson’s tee shot swung way wide, but pinged off the grandstand and led to a birdie. After seven holes, Johnson was four-under on the day, with bigger game in sight.


Team Alfie
Alfie Plant, the only amateur to make the cut, is slicing his way around Royal Birkdale with an army of friends and family in tow … so many that they couldn’t even find hotel rooms and are camping in fields near the course. Plant’s not a threat to win, or even place particularly high, but at this point, that’s not even a concern … he’s just going to enjoy himself, and his 200 or so fans are going to enjoy themselves even more.

A lovely day for golf at Royal Birkdale. (Getty)

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.